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Geoffroy De Lestrange

Cornerstone OnDemand

International Product Marketing & Communication Director

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2018 HR trends: what’s in store for the industry this year?


HR is changing its focus from automation to business impact and engagement, and that is where we are headed in 2018. We saw the growth of HR analytics in 2017, as well as the use of technology to enhance how companies use their employee data. Organisations now have the tools to make a business impact, the next step is to understand how to make best use of them.

HR was given a strong foundation to work from last year, and 2018 is set to bring a new flurry of changes that will play a major role in shaping the sector’s future. So, what are the top four HR trends that we’ll see in 2018?

1. From employer brand to employer trust

2018 is going to be a year in which employers and employees build upon trends that we have already started to see. For example, we’ve seen a societal shift when it comes to transparency: Uber came under fire after an employee blog went viral and the #Metoo campaign started after the Weinstein allegations.

Both at an individual and a corporate level, 2018 will see people becoming more transparent. In order to build trust, companies must prove to their customers and employees why they should trust them. In an HR world, for example, organisations must prove that they are serious about gender equality, proving that salary and job opportunities will not differ between men and women.

This trend towards accountability and transparency is only going to get more popular and companies need to be aware and prepare. Particularly with GDPR coming into effect in 2018, both customers and employees will want to know where and how their personal data is being used. Organisations can no longer hide within a walled garden.

2. Loyalty is dead, long live loyalty

Engagement has replaced loyalty. In the 1950s, you would have a job for life. Employees would rarely change between jobs and they would often stay loyal to the company. Now, if an employee feels that they are undervalued or not progressing in their career, they will leave.

The use of employee data is practical and business oriented, but organisations must ensure that they are transparent with the ways they use it. 

Companies must replace loyalty with respect and engagement if they want to retain their talent. Promote opportunities within the company instead of bypassing internal staff and hiring externally. Showing that you respect your workforce by offering internal mobility and career progression plans will generate a form of loyalty, more suited to the modern day.

Companies must create an environment in which employees will innovate and thrive. So ensure you have a good working environment, filled with opportunities. While you can’t force people to be innovative, you can create an environment in which people can open their mind and be creative, which is likely to positively affect the entire business.

3. Let the robots help

AI is by no means a new trend. In fact, if organisations aren’t using some elements of AI in their business, they are behind the times. A few years ago, you were a pioneer if you used AI. Now you are considered late to the game if you’re not. In fact, in the next few years 75% of the analytics applications used by organisations will have some form of AI embedded in them.

Experience, engagement and transparency are not new concepts and, in 2018, they cannot be avoided.

As AI is gets stronger, the data that we can use increases, thus helping to support and improve HR. The more employee data you have, the more you can achieve with big data.

The use of AI in HR allows employees and employers to streamline or automate many work processes, enabling HR to focus on business strategy and planning. However, with the aforementioned GDPR privacy laws, organisations must be compliant when using data. The use of employee data is practical and business oriented, but organisations must ensure that they are transparent with the ways they use it. 

4. The new career path style

Putting your employees at the forefront of your company ensures that the HR department is accountable. Experience, engagement and transparency are not new concepts and, in 2018, they cannot be avoided. HR will need to have a much deeper knowledge of their employees and a more detailed vision and understanding.

HR will also need to become more flexible. Creating an evolution of career paths will help your company to involve its whole ecosystem. Use your suppliers, resellers and other partners to help provide more options on careers for employees, as this will benefit everyone and have a long-term impact on your business.

Similarly, if former employees move to companies within your ecosystem then they are not moving to a competitor, and you are not losing out. It’s unrealistic to think you can retain every one of your employees, so help them to move on by using your network. Offboarding will be key in 2018.

It’s all about impact

HR professionals need to have a good understanding of their business in order to make a real impact. If they don’t, the business will end up replacing the HR department. HR must utilise the tools they have and expand on them, focus on employees and their engagement within the business, build a relationship of trust and become more flexible.

If you want a better workplace in 2018, use these trends to your advantage and make an impact in your company.

Author Profile Picture
Geoffroy De Lestrange

International Product Marketing & Communication Director

Read more from Geoffroy De Lestrange